Koreanspice Viburnum – Viburnum carlesii
Viburnum is a genus of shrubs consisting of more than 150 species, most of which are found in the Northern Hemisphere. They are ecologically valuable in their native habitats, providing food and shelter to countless insects, birds, and mammals. A fair number of viburnum species have also become popular garden and landscape plants. Take a look at any viburnum, and it’s easy to see why.
One particularly attractive species is Viburnum carlesii, a deciduous shrub native to Korea and Japan and commonly known as Koreanspice viburnum. It has a natural rounded form and reaches about 6 feet tall to 6 feet wide. Like most viburnums, its form and foliage make it appealing even when it isn’t flowering or fruiting; however, its flowering stage is the moment you definitely want to experience.
Dome-shaped clusters of red-to-pink buds form at the tips of branches. As they open, pink flowers turn to white. The flowers are abundant and highly fragrant. Their scent has been described as spicy vanilla or spice cake. Their fragrance is currently filling the air in the English Garden, where additional viburnum species can be found flanking a massive and impressive bulb display. Don’t miss it.
Written by IBG collections curator, Daniel Murphy